How to clear mind chatter and make space for useful thinking.

mind chatter

Jenny was stressed. She had several projects on the go and the added challenge of organising a family dinner with her partner’s relations. So many thoughts overloaded her mind, with some going around and round creating ‘thought demons’; each demanding attention. There was no space left for thinking clearly about any one thing. She felt she wasn’t capable and was overwhelmed by the constant mind chatter and her anxiety was at a peak.

Jenny decided that this wasn’t good enough for her since she wasn’t enjoying life, so she followed the steps that I’m going to give you here.

These steps are the beginning of a lifetime habit that will quieten mind chatter and make space for clarity, problem solving and creative thought.

  • Make a commitment to invest some time in changing your monkey chatter.
  • Recognise when your mind chatter appears – make a note of what it is.
  • Mind chatter loves attention – don’t fight it. Acknowledge it and change it.
  • Prepare for transformation – ready yourself with positive thoughts (affirmation) to replace the negative busy ones.
  • Create your vision of how you want to be – Have an image of how you are when thinking is clear and productive. It is helpful to have a symbol you can bring to mind easily.
  • Practice – Each time you notice mind chatter, visualise your symbol and say your affirmation.

“But I’m in a hurry”, you say. “I don’t have time for this!”

The truth is, you don’t have time for the mind chatter either. It’s unproductive. By dedicating a relatively small amount of time to commit to and practice this different way of thinking, you will find it will become an automatic reaction to mind chatter and your mind will have the space to problem solve and create.

Why not make a date with yourself today to begin practicing being in charge of your thinking brain?



Positivity: How to change the consequences of things you cannot change.

Emotional responses
I leant into the cupboard to retrieve my art materials. As I came up to standing, I was at first curious and then shocked, as blood streamed across my vision – my eye was bleeding inside. Just like that! I was blind in one eye and even though I knew it wasn’t permanent, my life for the next months would be severely impaired. I couldn’t drive. I couldn’t see anything on my left side. Reading was a challenge – to name but a few of many things I now couldn’t do normally. Suddenly I had joined the ranks of the partially disabled. How could this have happened to me?

Emotional choices

Emotional choices

Emotional choices

Emotional Choices: How do I want to be?

Having a vital part of you taken away, whether it be physical or situational, is a recipe for disaster and deep depression. I was blind in one eye. My perfectly healthy body had let me down. I couldn’t change the fact that my eye was blind. Everything was a chore. Going to the shops was even more unappealing than it was before – dizzyingly so!

Luckily for me, I have had an amazing life where I have been intensely curious about my emotions and feelings. I choose to live my life in a ‘shamanic’ way, and the guidelines of this path remind me to ‘live in the light’ and to ‘create joy’. This is what saved me from going down the depression path. I made a clear and conscious choice to make the most of my situation and be POSITIVE.

How to be positive in a negative situation.

It’s one thing to make a commitment and another to make it happen. How did I achieve being positive in what appears to be such a negative situation?

¨       I made a choice.

I used to think that emotions and feelings just happened to me. I now know this – I can make a choice about how I feel and dissipate the emotions that arise from negative feelings. I decided that I could choose to be miserable, or I could choose to shine the light on all the positive aspects of being forced to live my life differently. I discovered that, although I had previously been excited about my plans for the year ahead, I had quite a few projects I had put off for a long time and needed to complete. I now had purpose – I had found the positive outcome of my situation.

¨       I made a commitment.

Making a clear and determined commitment is needed to help you follow through. This is true for any changes you choose to make. When make a commitment, there are two main things to consider. Firstly, write it as though it has already been achieved, and secondly make it concrete – write it down and put it where you can see it.

¨       I had a vision.

Every morning I take time to vision my day or something of my choosing. In my situation, I came to vision myself feeling contented and happy doing the things I wished to complete. Visioning is traditionally thought of as having a visual image, but it is more than this. When you vision, bring your feelings into your vision – so visioning myself creating a dreamcatcher became – me feeling the joy, curiosity, serenity, inspiration as though I was present, doing it, in my vision – focus on the positive feelings.

¨       I transformed the negative.

Shamanic practice has taught me to be consciously self-aware. This is such a great tool. It means that I notice when I’m feeling negative before it can get too much of a hold on me. I have learnt to feel into it; acknowledge the feeling and its details. Acknowledging it brings it to the light – out into the open so that I can choose that this is not how I want to be, and change my direction.

¨       And looked for positive.

In her book “Positivity”, Barbara Frederickson says that moments of positivity come in tiny windows. None of us are positive all the time, or we wouldn’t be able to operate in this world. What I have learnt from her research, is that you can catch the fleeting moment when positivity occurs. (conscious self-awareness) MAGNIFY it. CELEBRATE it. CREATE JOY with this moment.

Taking action.

Throughout life things happen to you that you cannot change. It is easy to fall into despair and become immobile.  If you’re feeling like you’re falling into a great hole, falling often feels like the path of least resistance because you have no resources to do it differently. Doing it differently requires you to step up and do something to change the consequences of those things that you cannot change. Stepping up means that you have made the choice to find the benefits and illuminate them and bring them into being. The steps above are designed to help you to act to become positive – in small do-able parts.

Because it is difficult to action new ways of being without knowing what it feels like to be that way, Life Healing Journeys provide you with the opportunity to immerse yourself in this process with compassionate guidance.

Life Healing Journeys come in many forms; individual sessions, small group circles and workshops. These are advertised on and by newsletter.

Shamanic Wisdom ~ Walking in the East with Spirit.

horse - symbolism

I woke up feeling sad this morning.

The reason for it is one I don’t need to share except to say that it involves the behaviour of another…. and discussing it is not an option at this time. So, what to do? I could, as I have in the past, spiral downwards, become more upset and try to manipulate the situation with my emotions, or I could draw upon all my Shamanic wisdom and resources and be responsible for myself and my reactions.

How I took action.

I decided that the best thing to do was go for a walk. Walking shifts the energy in my body while it gives me the opportunity to ask Spirit to help me out. In the past, I would have indulged in my thoughts; they say this, they said that and I felt this and that etc. and in this way, put things into perspective in my mind. I would become very emotional and allow my emotions to fully expand and explode. Now I find I do it somewhat differently. Today I stepped out calling upon Great Spirit to help me with this situation; to put it into perspective and show me what to do and how to be.

On the Sacred Circle Map, I was walking in the East; in Spirit. Previously I would have been in the South, indulging my thoughts or the West with my emotions or maybe in the North looking for practical solutions. The North was helping me out with physical activity of walking to help me connect with Spirit. This means that I was walking mindful of my surroundings with my mind quiet and the issue resting with Spirit. I breathed in the air, the scents, sounds and sights and felt and acknowledged the great sadness within me, while feeling gratitude for the beauty around me.

Message from Spirit.

When I arrived at the field where beautiful horses graze, I found my solace. Today there were five horses (the number for my name) – usually there are four. Four of the horses were standing facing away from me in the shade. Sitting on the warm gravelly sand next to the small pond was a dapple grey looking straight at me, as though to say, ‘Yes, this is it! Take note!’ Then he proceeded to lie down and relax in the warm sand, then sit up and look at me again. Then he did it again but this time he turned his tummy to the sky and lavishly wriggled in the sand before sitting and looking at me again.

Horse symbolism

The Meaning.

When receiving messages, it is important that you have a clear intention in the first place so that you know what it is referring to! Today I stepped out calling upon Great Spirit to help me with this situation; to put it into perspective and show me what to do and how to be. Here was a clear message to ‘Chill out and relax!’ Tummy to the sky – vulnerability – I’ve allowed myself to be vulnerable and this is important; now things will have the opportunity to shift. Sitting by the pond – look at your reflection; know who you are and what you want that will serve your higher good. Also, be aware of the other’s reflection – it is different from yours. Take care of yourself, enjoy and relax. Horses are earthy and grounded. They take us on journeys as they take us for a ride. They are playful, intelligent, independent and yet giving. These are qualities that I also bring into my message.

Further along the track, a little stick called me to pick it up. It is a beautiful wand and reminds me of the magic within me and that I am responsible for making the magic happen.

Wand symbolizes the magic.


On my return journey, the horses had dispersed and were munching grass in the sun. I had my answers and will take time to allow myself to process how they will manifest from in my life.


Walking in the East:

  1. Make a clear decision that you are going to walk with Spirit and that you will release your mind/brain.
  2. Set a clear intention.
  3. Walk mindfully, noticing if your brain engages in deep thought. If it does, thank it and tell it you are looking at nature in this moment.
  4. Notice what grabs your attention and take in all the details.
  5. Sit quietly, breathing into your belly and this will help you absorb the meaning that arises from the symbols you’ve collected.

Are you connected to your culture? What does that mean?

View of Gunbalanya from the top of Injalak
Coming home from my adventure in Gunbalanya in the Northern Territory, I didn’t experience the usual let down one often experiences after travelling and experiencing new things. For days afterwards my body had a ‘buzzing’ quality about it. Every night I dreamt about just being there, immersed in the richness of that place.

Identifying with Culture

I have often wondered what it would be like to belong to a definitive culture. Like many people who identify as being from ‘Western’ culture, I had little idea about what that means. The language I speak doesn’t feel unique or special as English is far from being unique, the clothes I wear are generic and it’s only when I’m singing nursery rhymes to my grandchildren that I am reminded that they, well some of them, hark from my ancestors.

I need to explain here that my childhood experience was that of living in England, Australia in the 50’s and 60’s, in New Guinea, and in boarding school in country Australia. I was blessed by the fact that my parents arranged our lives in a way that we met and played with indigenous children which was unusual at that time. People like to mix with those of their own culture where they feel they belong and are unchallenged in their ways and beliefs. So I am blessed with not having these barriers and at the same time wonder about my culture!

It seems to me that I mustn’t be alone in feeling disenfranchised from my ancestors and their culture as people migrate to other lands and adjust to the ways of their new home.

Connecting with ancestors

The Downs, Guildford, Surrey, England.
As my life progresses, I become more aware of how important it is to know who I am and where I come from. So it is that I recently returned to England to walk on the ‘Downs’ of Guildford where I was born, and soak up the energy of the circles at Avebury; conscious of my desire to connect with my ancestors. I returned with a greater sense of feeling my feet upon the ground and a knowing of who I am.

Immersed in a ‘definitive’ culture.

Sitting on the age old rocks at Number 2 Waterfall near Gunbalanya in the Northern Territory, the ancient spirit of the place seeped into my very being. The water in the waterhole lay still, only now and again rippled by the breeze. The trees protected us as we sat with our lunch in the open cave of rocks. Christine and Priscilla and Sylvia were stripping pandanus and I urged them to tell us some stories.

Christine at Number 2 Waterfall

With some hesitance at first, Christine began to tell us the story of the three-legged dog and her mate who made this place. One story led to another … Number one waterfall was made by her mate who dug so deep he released a water spout which shot him up into the air, trapping him into the rocks above …. and another….

When one reads these indigenous stories published in picture books, they are children’s stories; simplistic, colourful, explaining creation or giving a lesson. …. But as I sat there entranced, feeling the spirit of everything around us, I sensed a much deeper connection in the stories.

In ‘Western culture’ stories are fiction and fiction means that they aren’t true. We reassure ourselves that this is a fantasy world that we can only enter in dreams and even then, they aren’t true.

Storys shared at No 2 Waterfall.

Christine sharing stories.

092 - Arnhem Land - 2016 - Edited
Sitting here in this very place that holds the spirit of all that has happened over thousands of years, I could see the conviction of belief in the tellers’ eyes. They, and also myself as I listened, were connected deeply to the stories and, I believe, to the deeper meanings not revealed to the uninitiated outsiders. Many of these same stories that are published as children’s tales to entertain have more detailed versions that contain deeper meanings and truths relating the culture and memories of the people and the ancestors who own them.
Later we visited Number 1 Waterfall where the three legged dog’s mate dug a hole so deep that a waterspout erupted and shot him up and trapped him in the rocks above – can you see him in this picture? His head is in the corner where the angles meet.

Dog trapped in the corner of the rocks.

We are all one.

Indigenous stories are a large part of their culture especially because these were not ‘literate’ societies but ‘orality’ societies where information is memorised with the help of stories and paintings. I heard more stories when we climbed Injalak; a rocky outcrop viewed in its magnificence from Injalak Arts Centre in Gunbalanya. A beautiful place where women’s ceremonies are held, Injalak has at least 15 rock art galleries and is the place where long ago people went during the big wet to live out of the way of the flooding rains.

067 - Arnhem Land - 2016 - Edited
Gabriella was our special guide. As we sat below the image of the Creation Mother with her dilly bags, Gabriella told us how Creation Mother came in from the North bringing her dilly bags each of which contained all of the information that described each of the groups of people; their names, their skin names, their moiety to name a few. What struck me was that she shared with us that these were for all groups, white people included.

Gabriella telling the story of Creation Mother


The Creation Mother is for all people. For me this was the moment when my culture merged with the indigenous culture of this land. We are all indeed one. The creator created all of us. It was absolutely confirming and beautiful to hear this from Gabriella as she told the story.

The shift in Universal energy that people are talking about describes how we are moving from being separate to coming together as one. This story, belonging to indigenous culture includes me; it changes me from being an outsider to being included, recognising the whole of world peoples as one.

The impact of the experience

The impact of being immersed in another culture as deeply as one can be, even if for a few days and when they are an outsider, was profound. For a small wink in time, I was embraced into this ancient culture. I felt and breathed the spirit of the place; the rocks, the water, the plants, the wind, the people. I connected with the ancestors of these people and the land; with my breath, my presence and through story.

 Where to now?

Back on home ground I am aware of how I will bring my experience together so that it enriches my personal culture on a daily basis. I feel that my ability to sense the environment around me; to be able to ‘read’ the energy, be conscious of it has become part of the way I am. I have learnt more about being at peace, taking time to absorband listen, and to connect with my ancestors too. … and as I’ve been writing a peewee bird, symbolic of my ancestors and those of this land has been walking beside me on the grass!

I said to our indigenous guide and companion, Christine, when I bade my farewells, “Our ancestors have met. We will always be connected after this beautiful experience.” and I believe this to be the truth.

Finding your personal culture is empowering as it is the outcome of really coming to know yourself. You may discover that some of the things you hold onto are fear-based beliefs that have been instilled by your family’s culture. When you know that what you truly believe serves you and your personal goodness and wellbeing you will find that you have come home to your personal chosen culture.

Here are some steps to begin the process.

  1. Learn to breathe. (Go to for this information)

  2. Practice sitting and being – feeling and awareness of each element in your surroundings.

  3. Examine the things in your life that you take for granted. Decide whether they are true or have been imposed as the truth for someone else’s benefit. You can change your beliefs.

  4. Be aware of your values and check to see if your actions reflect them.

In Conclusion

Culture is what we choose to connect with and what resonates with ourselves personally. Some of us come from strong cultures that may overbear and dictate what they do in life and I wonder if this is all really culture? Culture is such a big word. For me, returning to my ancestral place in England and then experiencing connection to the land through the generosity of the indigenous people in Arnhem Land, I have a greater sense of my culture through my deep seated beliefs around Oneness, connection and the Spirit in all things. This effects the way I am, and in turn, the way I am with others with the intention being for the good of all – or One.

As always, if you think I can help you find your way, then please connect with me through phone, Facebook and website.


Injalak rock gallery

Lightening man


Some References:

  1. Injalak Arts Centre
  2. Lynne Kelly, “The Memory Code”  Allen & Unwin: 2016
  3. Louise Hambly, “Containers of Power: women with clever hands.” Utber&Patullo Pub: 2010.